Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine a suitable registration algorithm for diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) using conventional preprocessing tools [statistical parametric mapping (SPM) and automated image registration (AIR)] and to investigate how anisotropic indices for clinical assessments are affected by these distortion corrections. Materials and Methods: Brain DTI data from 15 normal healthy volunteers were used to evaluate four spatial registration schemes within subjects to correct image distortions: noncorrection, SPM-based affine registration, AIR-based affine registration and AIR-based nonlinear polynomial warping. The performance of each distortion correction was assessed using: (a) quantitative parameters: tensor-fitting error (Ef), mean dispersion index (MDI), mean fractional anisotropy (MFA) and mean variance (MV) within 11 regions of interest (ROI) defined from homogeneous fiber bundles; and (b) fiber tractography through the uncinate fasciculus and the corpus callosum. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) were calculated to demonstrate the effects of distortion correction. Repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to investigate differences among the four registration paradigms. Results: AIR-based nonlinear registration showed the best performance for reducing image distortions with respect to smaller Ef (P<.02), MDI (P<.01) and MV (P<.01) with larger MFA (P<.01). FA was decreased to correct distortions (P<.0001) whether the applied registration was linear or nonlinear and was lowest after nonlinear correction (P<.001). No significant differences were found in MD. Conclusion: In conventional DTI processing, anisotropic indices of FA can be misestimated by noncorrection or inappropriate distortion correction, which leads to an erroneous increase in FA. AIR-based nonlinear distortion correction would be required for a more accurate measurement of this diffusion parameter.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grant no. R01-2002-000-00362-0-2004 (JSK) and no. R01-2005-000-10522-0-2006 (HJP) from the Basic Research Program of the Korea Science & Engineering Foundation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging